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Empowering Rural Communities: Highlights from the Rural Pact Policy Action Lab

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Written by Āris Ādlers, President of PREPARE

On May 22, 2024, the Rural Pact Support Office organized a Policy Action Lab dedicated to enhancing the implementation of the Rural Vision and Pact at the local level. This pivotal event convened key stakeholders to pinpoint the necessary components for successful local implementation and to explore strategies for bringing the Rural Pact closer to citizens. Āris Ādlers, President of PREPARE, was among the attendees, contributing valuable insights and expertise.

The Policy Action Lab aimed to identify the key ingredients for success, determining the essential elements for effective local implementation of the Rural Pact, and exploring supportive approaches. It also provided a platform for participants to analyze inspiring local initiatives and exchange ideas on making the Rural Pact more accessible and impactful.

Key Highlights

One of the event’s highlights was the Networking Coffee Session. This session offered valuable opportunities for participants to discuss how the Rural Pact can be translated to the local level. Key questions addressed during the session included:

  • How can the Rural Pact be effectively implemented at the local level?
  • What strategies are necessary to make the Rural Pact a reality across diverse rural communities in the EU?

During the co-creation process, participants collaboratively developed proposals, presented by representatives from the European Rural Community Alliance, the European Economic and Social Committee, Deutscher Landkreistag/CEMR, and the Government of Castilla-La Mancha. The proposals focused on:

  • Enhancing local governance structures to support the Rural Pact.
  • Creating policies that empower local actors to address specific community needs.
  • Encouraging collaboration between governance levels to ensure cohesive implementation of the Rural Vision.

Path Forward

Despite the progress made, significant work remains to ensure the ambitions of the Rural Vision and Pact are realized across all EU rural communities. Achieving this vision requires national and regional policies to enable local decision-making and provide continuous support for local initiatives.

The Policy Action Lab marks an essential step toward making the Rural Pact a reality, underscoring the importance of ongoing commitment and cooperation among all stakeholders to improve the lives of rural citizens.

For more information, please visit the Rural Pact website.